Ravne na Koroškem, 10 March 2021 – On this occasion, swimmers of the Fužinar club in Ravne switched out their usual training in the pool for dryland training. The welcome change to the usual athletic routine was once again made possible by SIJ Group and its subsidiary SIJ Ravne Systems, who is reawakening the mind of steel with the help of its ambassador Petra Majdič as part of its sponsorship strategy.
Together with Petra Majdič, Mind of Steel ambassador, the swimmers of the Fužinar club in Ravne trained in agility and coordination, improving balance and responsiveness with elements of plyometric training, which enhances the ability of explosive, fast muscle contraction. Good cheer and intense focus made the time fly by.
Note that Tjaša Oder, 2011 world youth champion in 1500m freestyle and a participant at the Summer Olympic Games in London 2012 and Rio 2016, who is the ambassador of the Ravne steel outdoor training station, also made her first swimming strokes at PK Fužinar.
PK Fužinar coach Matija Medvešek opted for agility training, “because it includes a combination of balance, coordination, speed, strength, endurance and reflex responses. We do not yet carry out this type of trainings with our swimmers as part of regular training. However, after this very inspiring training session with Petra, the coaches will now examine the option of making these types of exercises a part of our regular training."
What did the swimmers find the most inspiring? Seventeen-year-old Jan Kokot said: “I found the exercise where we had to imitate each other’s movements very fun. Otherwise, the exercise I will remember the most from today’s training session – quite different from the usual ones – is the 'caterpillar', which we did with the help of a wide elastic band." Metka Remic, 15, agreed that moving as a group in a 'caterpillar' is a really tough but fun exercise, adding: “I found the leg exercises very useful, as we rarely do these, not even at the gym. We usually only do arm exercises. Today showed that there is some truth in stereotypes about swimmers – that we do not run fast, that we have slow reflexes and that we are not the most skilled at ball games. Which is normal, because we don't do exercises that would enhance these skills.”Tine Rotovnik, 15, agreed with Metka: “It would be useful to occasionally incorporate exercises such as we did today into our training. Teamwork where we work together and encourage each other is great. Otherwise, I really liked the focusing exercises, these will definitely come in handy when swimming and in other areas of life."
Based on her own experience, Petra Majdič knows that it is very beneficial to occasionally change up the training sessions with completely different content, as she believes that “it is essential to broaden the horizons of young athletes and try to introduce them to different approaches to training, so that they don’t get trapped by purely routine training sessions.”
This is the third training of its kind with young athletes in Ravne na Koroškem that Petra Majdič carried out with the help of the coaching team. In the autumn, she already led agility and coordination trainings with OK Fužinar volleyball players and NK Fužinar football players. This time, the skill training next to the summer pool took place in an adapted manner and by taking into account the National Institute of Public Health recommendations for carrying out sports activities safely.
In any case, the participants agree: “The change to the training system was more than welcome, as each new challenge in terms of movement awakens our inner child. We are looking forward to new opportunities when we as swimmers take on cross-skiing tracks.”
And one thing is for sure – the reawakened mind of steel makes the day more fulfilling!
SIJ Group is active in numerous sports partnerships in Jesenice and Ravne na Koroškem, where its companies operate. SIJ Acroni, SIJ Ravne Systems, and SIJ Metal Ravne sponsor several sports clubs in their local communities. Through this and numerous additional activities and events for reinforcing the mind of steel, their support is taking on a new dimension and added value for SIJ Group’s employees and local communities. To raise general awareness of healthy living and the importance of recreation, and to spread knowledge about the importance of steel in sports and sports infrastructure, SIJ Group is also a leading partner of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia at the national level. Together they strive to set up open-air steel workout stations in various Slovenian cities and towns, as well as grant sports scholarships to young athletes whose parents work in SIJ Group. With its approach and sponsorship strategy, SIJ Group follows the corporate vision of sustainable development, which far exceeds the social responsibility towards the environment and the local communities.
Petra Majdič, the ambassador of the project Mind of Steel, is a former Olympic athlete and the most successful Slovenian cross-country skier in history. The general public knows her story from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, when she won an Olympic medal, despite a fall that left her with broken ribs. With her personality and life story she personifies what it means to have a “mind of steel”. She is now spreading this message through the sponsorship project Mind of Steel, working as an ambassador of SIJ Group’s sponsorship and donation partnerships among local communities, employees, and the general public.
SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group, d.d.
mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications
Phone: +386 1 242 98 27
Mobile: +386 41 313 532